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Garden Visitors

Clouded Monitor - one of my garden visitors
Clouded Monitor – one of my garden visitors

Garden Visitors

I haven’t written anything in this, my diary, for a few days for a couple of reasons, but I am writing today because of two special garden visitors. Anyway, first why I haven’t been keeping my diary.

Three or four days ago, I started writing ‘Behind The Smile’ 6, which I call either BTS6 or Lek6 (after the leading character). It has been slow going, which is very unusual for me with the Leks. The other five Leks have practically written themselves, so I hope this one will warm up soon.

The other reason is that I have been adding my 22 Megan novelettes to Smashwords and Kobo (four more to go). Then I want to put them on Lulu and Xinxii. It’s tedious work, but if they are not on sale, people can’t buy them, and my Amazon sales have fallen through the floor.

July, August and December have always been my best months for four years, but this year, July has been the worst with August looking set to be even worse unless companies that report ‘late’ (Apple, etc) have done a marvellous job – and I doubt that.

I wish I could find a reason for the rapid (40%) decline in July, but I’m stumped. I asked Amazon if my account was down, but they said it wasn’t and hadn’t been at any time. It’s a mystery to me. Do you have any ideas?

OK, and now back to why I had to write this post: our garden visitors. Yesterday, my wife came running into the house and slammed and bolted the fly screen behind her.

“What is it?” I asked never having seen her behave like that before.

“Dua Heer,” she replied with a shudder. I had no idea what that was. I considered a snake or a rat, but she sees plenty of them. “Please give me your snake book”,

I have a great little, illustrated handbook on Thai snakes and reptiles.

She leafed through it and soon found what had caused her distress – a Clouded or Bengal Monitor. “Old people say they are very bad luck. What does your book say?”

I love to see these unusual garden visitors. Apparently, our dog had chased it into a tree at the bottom of the garden. “It was very fast,” she said.

Anyway, it came back today and strolled regally past my office window, its forked tongue tasting the air to either side. “It’s only a baby,” explained Neem after locking both doors. Ours was about 1.20m (4 feet) long with a body as thick as a man’s arm, but they grow to 1.75m (5′ 10″). They live in holes in the ground or trees and eat insects.

“Do you think he’s come to live with us?” she asked “I don’t want him to”.

This animal has been on the Endangered Species list for forty years, yet my wife just told me that it will be caught and killed because ‘it brings bad luck’. I told her that she had better tell her friends AND family, that if I learn that anyone has killed this lizard, I well report it. Her response? ‘No-one will stop people, they don’tknow’. She meant that people don’t know the law and the police will never find out!

And that is true, sadly.

Our other, and more welcome garden visitors, as far as my wife is concerned, were two egrets, about a metre in height. They have made a comeback to the region to eat rice snails since farmers have cut back on pesticides.

All animal garden visitors are welcome by me, especially the Clouded Monitor, but the egrets were beautiful too.

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All the best.


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